- 3 min read -
In recent weeks the impacts of COVID-19 have been felt across the globe, and, like many of you, weighed heavily on our minds. We sincerely hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these challenging times and our thoughts are with all those who have been directly and indirectly affected by the spread.
While we could remind you to wash your hands (please do it anyways…), stay home if you’re not feeling well (PJs all day!), and mind your social distancing (not everyone likes hugs…), we’ll leave that to the professionals, whom we are all very thankful for. Instead we thought it was more suitable for us to focus on our area of expertise, the impact on post-secondary institutions and Gen-Zs.
As health concerns continue to rise at an alarming rate, schools, businesses and public events have all been put on hold. Such a crisis, coupled with the substantial safety measures have rarely been seen, especially in the case of Gen Zs. As a generation bursting with passion, empowerment and curiosity, they are less likely to simply follow directions and procedures that are handed down to them and more prone to dig into the ‘why’. In the age of social awareness, understanding potential motives and legitimacy behind information, and exploring why it might differ from other viewpoints is crucial to Gen Z’s identity.
In today’s digital era, the information they seek can be accessed on a wide array of platforms from a plethora of sources, exposing them to fallacies and confusion. The proper management and dissemination of information, combined with vigilant dispelling of misinformation is an important responsibility of our institutions. Whether it is through sharing qualified resources to encourage further research or simply fostering open dialogue about current issues, ensuring you are there to help as they seek information and input is paramount.
Our latest article explored the popularity of TikTok amongst Gen Zs, and in recent weeks, the app has actually turned out to be an important source of information, or reprieve, during this pandemic. TikTok has seen over 5.5 billion views on videos using the #coronavirus hashtag and has even partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide a Q&A page, tips on protection across the platform, and a ‘mythbusting’ feature. Scrolling the app will showcase a collection of emotional reaction videos, updates on the day-to-day impacts caused by the virus, and inevitably some dark humour/escapism. With a majority of Gen Zs experiencing their first global emergency, it is important to ensure they understand the seriousness of the situation by reaching them where they are, online.
With schools and businesses being closed, stress regarding graduation, post-secondary applications and employment will all be at the forefront of their concerns. Make sure resources are available to answer their questions and provide support through the uncertainty. With classes being moved to online format, open discussion boards and informative links can be shared with minimal effort. Collaboration and sharing are important to Gen Zs and will be limited through social distancing, but hey, we live in the digital era! Programs like google hangout will help solve the issue of separation. If there aren’t existing procedures in place for online collaborating, here’s a list of platforms that might help.
The impacts of COVID-19 grow with each passing day, and will continue to pose new challenges and added uncertainty as we move forward. It is important that we continue to support one another and remember that we’re in it together. Communication is key, even in moments of stagnation. Let people know you’re still there to safely support them should they need it.
From our team to yours: we wish you good health.
We’re in this together.